The staffing industry will continue its rapid growth due to the vast potential to digitize, reduce internal turnover, and increase productivity exponentially.
**RPA; future of staffing industry; automation of recruitment; modernization of staffing industry**
In my last article titled, “How Privacy Laws Will Speed Up the Digital Transformation of the Staffing Industry”, I commented on how privacy regulation will increase the need for the staffing industry to digitally transform in the coming years. As is the case with many industries, it can take a looming threat to create the spark needed to build momentum. Further, it can take years for businesses to digitally transform and radically change a business that has been operating a certain way for a long time.
I spent a decade leading teams in this industry, and during that time I noticed that legacy systems and processes were the norm. Most stakeholders had an aversion to modernizing the industry. I attribute this resistance to a genuine enjoyment in the human element of the industry. This includes things like helping candidates find their dream job, providing value to their clients, and ultimately leveraging their human capital relationships. The staffing industry will always be a relationship industry first. However, beneath the surface is a paradox that has created turnover since the industry’s inception. Recruiters spend a substantial amount of time working with a tremendous sense of urgency to complete hundreds of manual tasks. These include things like sourcing candidates, conducting the initial outreach, coordinating instructions, and repeating manual processes at lightning speeds.
As a former market leader that oversaw a team of recruiters, I witnessed the required output of manual processes first-hand. These were required to achieve the productivity metrics necessary for the business unit to be profitable. The key performance indicator (KPI) ensuring success for a recruiter was their ability to maximize the number of qualified candidates submitted to the appropriate open positions. The work behind the work to achieve these KPIs was the reason I never heard them say things about being burnt out from interviewing candidates or building genuine relationships with their customers. Instead, the manual work it took to meet their KPIs was the key indicator of burnout. This led people to switch roles, or sometimes even leave the industry altogether.
As my career progressed in the industry, I looked for ways to use technology to reduce this burden. I tried to find a path for recruiters to spend the majority of their time doing the things the business needed to drive value and improve the bottom line. One of the biggest challenges was scaling, as the prevailing thought was to replace exhausted recruiters with new hires. This mindset only created a perpetuating cycle of burnout.
I get excited by the art of the possible, as we are truly at a point where we can automate the very part of the business that causes turnover. This will allow us to redirect internal resources and time to the activities that recruiters enjoy, and ultimately the part of the business that drives revenue.
There are many places to add robotic process automation (RPA) to the recruitment process. However, I believe the place to start is the lifeline of the industry – sourcing candidates. One of the most important and time consuming elements of recruiting a candidate is finding strong candidates on various databases. The industry standard is to use boolean search strings with simple and/or logic commands from keywords that appear on a resume. The challenge is that it can take considerable time to sort through millions of candidates from multiple databases.
The next challenge is to make the initial outreach. This consists of calling, texting, or emailing qualified candidates. Typically, email or text is the most effective outreach to get their attention. Often, this takes a lot of back and forth communication to schedule the first discussion call. During these calls, recruiters build the relationships and determine which companies to submit their candidates. In order to be a successful recruiter, one has to maximize the number of conversations taking place in a given week to ensure meeting the productivity and financial metric goals. A major challenge is that recruiters are incentivized to work as quickly as possible, creating a poor customer and candidate experience. In addition to the challenges posed by the internal process, recruiters face internal and external competition to be the first to speak with a candidate. Together, these challenges result in a ton of wasted time. This is creating a breaking point in the industry.
RPA technology paints a much brighter picture for the industry by automating the most repetitive and manual processes. It has the potential to elevate recruiters to a more technical and consultative role. This new process would allow the RPA system to search databases for qualified candidates based on assigned search parameters, begin initial outreach for candidates that apply to your job postings, and coordinate interview times. This means that instead of starting each day with hours of sourcing candidates, recruiters could begin with pre-set appointments with qualified candidates.
As a former senior leader whose compensation was directly tied to increasing productivity of my recruiting team, I can’t be more excited for the firms that take advantage of what is coming in the industry. Now is the time for new industry leaders to emerge. Successful firms will double down on building relationships and placing qualified customers, while automating the manual processes that are creating turmoil in the industry.
I am a staffing industry veteran and I welcome the opportunity to help guide you through this process. I spent close to a decade overseeing multiple sales, delivery, and operations teams across a variety of markets. If you are just beginning to explore your options, I would love to have an initial conversation. If you are already in the process of automating your agency, or simply just exploring what’s possible, I welcome the opportunity to discuss how Zia Consulting’s expertise with Hyperautomation and RPA can assist you on your journey. I look forward to hearing from you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Vanore, Enterprise Sales Director – Southeast
Matt has 10+ years of experience as a consultative sales professional primarily in the IT services industry. In past roles, Matt has led both Sales and Delivery teams to service fortune 500 clients in various industries such as Consumer Packaged Goods, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Entertainment and Financial Services. Matt has a Finance degree and began his career as a group sales representative in the Insurance industry. Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, playing poker, reading, and coaching youth sports.